Grape(s): Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
Localization: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France
Tasting Notes: An intense dark-ruby color. The nose develops aromas of ripe black fruit (such as blackberry), cherry, and spice box. The palate reveals the presence of tannins, in high quantity and elegance. The finish is long and luxurious. This is the Chateauneuf du Pape expression, displaying all the characteristics of the terroir.
93 points Wine & Spirits: This is named for the period of time when the Rhône River sluiced its way from the Alps through Châteauneuf, leaving behind a plateau paved with baseball-sized stones as the water retreated. Those “gates” are said to help the vines ripen their fruit in this northern sector of the appellation, the stones emanating the sun’s heat. This wine reflects both a spring-like coolness in its spicy, savory herbal notes and a warmth in its lush purple fruit. It’s spicy and firm, with a little bit of grip to the tannins that suggest this could benefit from aging in the bottle for a few more years.
The Domain: In 1979, Alain and Odile Jaume carried on the family tradition with the creation of the Grand Veneur. In the beginning, the vineyard extended over 22 acres. Over time, the vineyard grew to today's figure of nearly 170 acres spread in the Chateauneuf du Pape, Lirac, Cotes de Rhone Villages "Les Champauvins", and Cotes du Rhone areas.
In 2003, a new estate of 50 acres was acquired : the "Clos de Sixte" Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Lirac. This appellation located a few kilometers from Chateauneuf du Pape (in front of it when you cross the Rhone river), is one of the fifteen Crus of the Rhône Valley. However, the soils are unique and they look like the plateaux of Chateauneuf du Pape with sandy-clay earth and the famous rocks that cover the soil. For many years, Lirac had less reputation than Chateauneuf du Pape, but it is potentially the coming "Outsider" of the Rhone Valley.
Over the years, the family has grown, too. Today, Sébastien and Christophe are gradually taking charge of the management of the estate. Sharing the family know-how, they have to put to maximum advantage their knowledge in wine-growing and wine-tasting.